UPDATE: This news has been confirmed, thanks to a huge story that just ran in Rolling Stone. The Cornell ’77 release is one part of Get Shown The Light, an 11-disc set that includes shows on May 5th, 7th, and 9th, as well as the famed 5/8/77 performance.
In the article, archivist David Lemieux says, “Since the moment that the board tape of Cornell began circulating in the late 1980s, its legend was instantly created. Although plenty of Grateful Dead shows have been called their ‘best ever,’ in the case of Cornell this statement is rarely contested. It’s long been a dream of everyone in the Grateful Dead organization to release the definitive version of Cornell, drawn from the master tapes, and we’re as thrilled as the fans are that this show is finally being released.”
Listen to the “Morning Dew” from this release below, and head to the Dead’s website for more information.
It seems as though the Grateful Dead‘s May 8, 1977 performance will be available soon on vinyl! In celebration of the 40th anniversary of their legendary performance at Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Bull Moose lists the 5LP set available for pre-order, with the artwork matching the new look of Dead.net. The 5/8/77 performance has been noteworthy since the recordings started circulating years ago, but it’s been said that the source tape has been missing since the date of performance.
In 2013, Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux told Relix, “I do not know specifically but I have heard from many people that they know where it is and they know who has it and that’s fine. We’ve certainly made a note that we’d love to have it back as we would with any master Grateful Dead tape that we don’t have in the vault. But there’s really nothing we can do about it. We’re not going to pay for our own tape. That’s one thing I don’t think we’d ever do is to pay to buy them back and I don’t think they’ve been offered to the band in a long, long time. They know where we are, we’re easy to find and I think it has been made clear that we would love to have them back. Some people would just rather have the tapes in their closet than in the vault, but that’s fine. It is what it is. Again, there’s nothing we can do, we don’t lose sleep over it, but it is as it is.”
It seems that the source tape has been recovered and restored by Rhino Records, according to a representative from the Bull Moose vendor. Though no formal announcement has come from the Dead, the detailed listing and matching artwork do seem to verify this exciting release! According to the sale page, the recording will release on 5/5/17.
For now, listen to this recording, as uploaded by Jonathon Aizen, and reflect on why 5/8/77 is considered the Grateful Dead’s best with this essay.